You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Q&A: Can a hobby ruin your budget?


I continue to be surprised and disappointed by the number of people I counsel who have difficulty controlling their spending. During the past several years I’ve encountered many people who spend a lot of money on hobbies and other interests, but can’t account for their spending and fall into financial problems.

My sister enjoys crafts and interior design, but was spending around $600 monthly online and at retail stores, as well as buying materials to fix vintage furniture.

READ: What's the best $20 you've ever spent?

A second woman I met recently at a conference in Arlington, Va., enjoys scrapbooking.

She spent $200 on a scrapbooking machine, another $50 for each individual chamber for the machine and hundreds of dollars monthly on designer paper and decorative scrapbooks.

It’s good to see people enjoy a hobby. The problem occurs when they spend money, but can’t account for these expenses in their budgets. That’s when they begin using credit cards, and they begin to slowly, but surely, pile up debt.

I’m a big believer in using a pocket tracker to manage expenses and set budgets. The tracker I helped develop is free and can be found at CredAbility.

If you track your spending closely, you should develop a budget that breaks down spending into these categories and percentages:

Housing – 38 percent. Food – 12 percent. Transportation, including insurance – 15 percent.

Insurance, clothing, medical, miscellaneous needs and savings – 5 percent each.

I also advocate spending 5 percent monthly toward credit cards and other debt. Finally, allocate 5 percent of your budget for recreation, which includes expenses dedicated to hobbies and entertainment.

READ: Why you can't seem to stay out of debt

Remember, however, that if an expected expense comes up, use the funds from the miscellaneous category to cover these costs. If your child has a field trip that cost $75 that you haven’t budgeted, don’t pull out the credit card. If you do, your budget will begin to fall apart. If you stay within your budget’s guidelines, soon you’ll find that your spending is under control.

Staying within the guidelines will really help get expenses under control. In my sister’s case, I worked with her to develop a budget that enables her to enjoy her hobby, but whittled her spending to $350 a month.

As her financial counselor, I knew that she could afford this amount and still enjoy her hobby. As her sister, I also recommended that she spend more time with family and find an activity to take her mind off spending. As a result, I’m seeing her more often and she’s riding her bicycle a few evenings each week. She’s getting new emotional and health benefits while also keeping her spending under control.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Harambe fans rejoice: Charity to host gorilla-themed run in Cincinnati
Harambe fans rejoice: Charity to host gorilla-themed run in Cincinnati

A pack of gorillas will take over downtown Cincinnati next month, but they haven’t escaped from the Cincinnati Zoo. The Gorilla Glue Company will host its annual Cincinnati Gorilla Run, a 5k that raises funds and awareness for mountain gorillas. The race is on April 2, starting at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse at 925 Riverside Drive. Race participants...
Ohio adds 15K jobs in February
Ohio adds 15K jobs in February

Ohio employers posted a net gain of 15,200 jobs last month — the second-highest statewide increase in the nation — while the February unemployment rate edged up to 5.1 percent from 5 percent in January, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported today. The state jobs department also reported a significant revision to...
Easter consumers to spend $2.6B on Peeps and other candy
Easter consumers to spend $2.6B on Peeps and other candy

Americans will spend more than ever before on Easter festivities. Spending for the holiday is expected to reach $18.4 billion, an increase of 6 percent compared to last year’s record $17.3 billion. Consumers will spend an average of $152 per person, an increase of 4 percent from 2016. The data was collected by the National Retail Federation&rsquo...
Wright State Physicians CEO stepping down
Wright State Physicians CEO stepping down

Dr. Alan Marco is stepping down as president and CEO of Wright State Physicians, effective March 31, according to an internal email obtained by the Dayton Daily News. According to the email, Dr. Marco will be replaced as president by Dr. Jerry Yaklic — an obstetrician-gynecologist with Wright State Physicians Obstetrics & Gynecology and chair...
Ohio adds 15K jobs in February
Ohio adds 15K jobs in February

Ohio employers posted a net gain of 15,200 jobs last month — the second-highest statewide increase in the nation — while the February unemployment rate edged up to 5.1 percent from 5 percent in January, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported today. The state jobs department also reported a significant upward revision...
More Stories